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Speed Boat Beach Named Florida-Bred Horse of the Year

The FTBOA Awards Gala was held April 15.

Speed Boat Beach wins the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Speed Boat Beach wins the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Speed Boat Beach was named the 2023 Florida-bred Horse of the Year in a vote by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association board of directors and announced at the FTBOA Awards Gala April 15 at the Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala.

Bred by Richard Heysek's Caperlane Farm and owned by Michael Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, Speed Boat Beach was also named the Champion 3-Year-Old Colt and Champion Male Sprinter after winning the Malibu Stakes (G1) and was second in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) at Santa Anita Park in 2023.

Heysek was also presented with the Needles Award, recognizing the Small Thoroughbred Breeder of the Year in Florida.

The 2023 FTBOA Florida Breeder of the Year and leading Florida breeder by Florida-bred earnings awards went to Marilyn Campbell's Stonehedge. Stonehedge-bred runners earned a total of $3,338,867 with 103 wins during the year. Among her top runners in 2023 were graded stakes-winner Dean Delivers and multiple stakes-winner Me and Mr. C.

Arindel took home honors as the leading owner by Florida-bred earnings with $1,691,906 in 2023. Arindel was represented by three Florida-bred black-type winners during the year in Clapton, Octane and Reaper.

Khozan  is the 2023 Florida Stallion of the Year with progeny earnings of $6,292,158. It is the fourth consecutive year that Khozan is the leading Florida sire by progeny earnings as he had totals of $3,521,813 in 2020, $3,671,794 in 2021 and $4,513,950 in 2022. Khozan was also named the 2023 Champion Juvenile Sire with 2-year-old progeny earnings of $1,568,577.

Only Montbrook (2002, 2003, 2008, 2009) and Wildcat Heir (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014) have as many Florida Stallion of the Year titles. Khozan is the only Florida stallion to be honored in four consecutive years going back to 1991.

Khozan's leading earner on the season was graded stakes-winner Foggy Night. She banked $378,800 on three wins and two seconds in seven starts including a victory in the Delaware Oaks (G3).

Stallions residing at Journeyman Stud swept the stallion categories in 2023 as St Patrick's Day  was named the Champion Freshman Sire with progeny earnings of $425,985.

Other Florida-bred Champions

The 2023 Bruce Campbell Award was presented to Florida-based trainer Jena Antonucci, the first woman to train a winner of a Triple Crown race when she saddled Arcangelo  to victory in the Belmont Stakes (G1). The Bruce Campbell Award is presented by The Florida Horse magazine for outstanding achievement, when deemed appropriate, to individuals or groups who have brought honor and prestige to Florida's Thoroughbred industry.

Stuart Morris and Ruben M. Sanchez' Really and Truly Thoroughbreds were awarded the 2023 Joseph M. O'Farrell Memorial Award, presented by Ocala Breeders' Sales Company to the consignors of Speed Boat Beach, the top Florida-bred of the year who graduated from an OBS auction.

Saffie Joseph Jr. was recognized as the leading Florida trainer of Florida-breds by earnings and tied with Kathleen O'Connell and Jose D'Angelo as the leading Florida trainer by Florida-bred wins. Joseph also tied with Jose D'Angelo as leading Florida trainer by black-type wins.

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.